Kevin Billings, Director & Industry Principal, Communications & Media, Pegasystems, explains how TM Forum's Open APIs are making it easier for Pegasystems to quickly solve CSPs' business problems and also speed up integration with its partners.
Tell us about yourself and your job
My role is to engage with Pega’s communications service provider (CSP) clients and partners to understand specific industry challenges and pain points and the solutions needed to resolve these. I work with our strategy, product and marketing teams to ensure that our products and solutions best meet the needs of our clients, and that our account teams are enabled in articulating and demonstrating the benefits of Pega solutions in solving business problems.Why do you believe in TM Forum’s Open API program?
At Pega we deliver innovative software with a visionary, open, Center-out business architecture that removes business complexity. From maximizing customer lifetime value to streamlining service to boosting efficiency, we help the world’s leading CSPs solve difficult problems fast and transform for the future.
As part of Pega’s longstanding association with TM Forum, support for the Business Process Framework (eTOM) and Information Framework (SID) has been at the core of our communications industry solutions to help our clients’ transformations. We see that the continuing development of standards for Open APIs and Open Digital Architecture (ODA) is key in enabling seamless communication within CSPs’ ecosystems as we enable our clients and industry to digitally transform. Support for TM Forum standards and Open APIs will continue to be an important element of our product offerings.
Pega’s scalable Center-out™ architecture and low-code platform, together with TM Forum Open APIs enables interoperability and agility. CSPs can achieve flexibility and cost savings by decoupling from legacy systems, developing at the speed of the business while replacing legacy technology in a longer-term transformation and replacement plan.What TM Forum Open APIs are most valuable to your company?
One area where we see tremendous growth is in the need for radically improved customer engagement – in deepening customer relationships and maximizing value by predicting customer needs, personalizing interactions and delivering the best possible customer experience across all channels. Use of industry standard APIs is important in this, especially in enabling CSPs to make the best product and service offers and recommendations to their customers and to execute on these in the order management process.
To enable this and other solutions, examples of the most valuable TM Forum Open APIs for Pega are Recommendation – TMF 680, Product Catalog Management – TMF 620, Product Ordering – TMF 622, Shopping Cart – TMF 663 and Process Flow Management - TMF 701. These provide a common, customer-focused framework and flow for CSPs which enables faster integration of solutions in their complex ecosystems.Why did you choose to highlight those APIs?
These Open APIs are highly relevant to leading CSPs as we partner with them in significantly improving experiences while driving revenue growth and cost savings. Using the APIs and integrating with BSS and OSS ecosystems across their process flows, Pega can enable CSPs to improve marketing recommendations, offers and customer acceptance, and also accelerate sales and order management processes to radically improve overall experience for their customers.How do you use those APIs?
In the customer engagement example, the Pega Customer Decision Hub™ can use the Recommendation API – TMF 680 to carry out checks and make decisions based on customer parameters. A list of relevant offers are then returned via a call centre agent or to a digital or other channel, ranked by priority and in real time.
Products and services contained in offers are selected from Pega’s local catalog which can be kept in sync with the CSP’s enterprise catalog using the Product Catalog API - TMF 620. On selection of an offer by the customer the fulfillment process commences and an order can be submitted using the Product Ordering API - TMF 622.
Pega’s Customer Decision Hub™ also uses an integration approach based on the Shopping Cart API – TMF 663 which enables an accepted offer and order to be passed to Pega’s Customer Service for Communications application for processing.How have you benefited from using these APIs?
Solutions become easier for our CSP clients to implement as the Pega Customer Decision Hub™ uses various APIs, leveraging a third-party layer where needed, to fetch relevant customer offers from Pega’s local product catalog. This enables the creation and processing of orders without the need to manually create them.
Use of the Open APIs means that our solutions are more attractive to CSPs for quickly solving their business problems, and for Pega and our partners integration is simpler and faster.Where do you use them?
A great example of where we use these APIs is with one of our largest global CSP clients. With the Pega Customer Decision Hub™, they provide real-time offer recommendation and fulfillment for their customers, and run campaigns across all their inbound and outbound channels including call centers, retail stores, SMS, mobile app, web and IVR.
Together with our integration partner we enabled the CSP to integrate the marketing platform with business and operations support systems using TM Forum Open APIs. They have rolled out the solution across multiple countries and are standardizing the integration and APIs across all these markets. The Pega solution has enabled them to remove complexity, increase customer offer acceptance, boost revenue and increase retention.